“NFL-Kaepernick-Too Little-Too Late”
So what do we make of all this? The latest development in the Colin Kaepernick story?
I was so enraged when the 2016-flag incident occurred. Him using the flag to express his dissatisfaction about what our country had become.
Coming from a military family, I was furious, someone making over 12M a year to play in the NFL, was condemning the country that was allowing him to make that style of living.
What started as a kneel down, with him and teammate Eric Reid then grew. Then it was other teammates.
Then it was other teams. Some kneeled. Some stood. Some raised black fists.
The fury was everywhere as it spread. By the next week, teams together were kneeling. Then Cowboys owner Jerry Jones elected to kneel with his entire team in a show of support.
The controversy would not abide, would not go away. It took on all types of dimensions.
Steelers players refused to come out of the tunnel till the anthem was over. Marshawn Lynch, showing disdain, sat on a cooler, his back turned to the flag, in a show of his disrespect.
The longer it went, the more informed we became. Players protesting white-vs-black shootings, police brutality and more.
The NFL, overwhelmed by the issue, met with player’s coalitions, trying to find a common ground for respect of the flag and a solution of issues.
The off season brought us the decision the league would fund ‘social programs’ in each NFL cities to help spread the message of respect for one and all.
Kaepernick was viewed as a villain. He opted out of his 49ers contract the next year, turning away from his 12.6M contract. But coming off 2-surgeries, coming off a bad season on a bad team, he got no offers.
The theorist reviled NFL club owners for not giving the star quarterback a chance to play for a new club. Because of his social protest? Or because he couldn’t play anymore?
All the while there was rage of him being blackballed by the holier than thou owners. You know the same ones who were still signing domestic abusers, druggies, DUI guys and every unemployed fringe QB on any street corner.
But not Colin Kaepernick.
He filed a grievance over his own brand of discrimination, inequality. An embarrassed NFL settled out of court, to the tune of 3-to-5M to make the case go away.
But Kaepernick got no invites to workouts, tryouts, or free agent offers. Now suddenly, the NFL announces he will take part in a free-agent workout in Atlanta.
Some believe this may be part of the grievance settlement. Others wonder why a workout now in November with just 6-weeks left in the season. Why not in June before all training camps were open and rosters were set?
It’s been 2-and a half years, since he last played. In that time, he has ventured off into different areas of society.
Yes there still is rage, but as I read-researched-talked to NFL people, a different Colin Kaepernick surfaced.
Not the quarterback, but rather the person, with the revelation of all he has done in charitable programs, while off the NFL field.
He gave 1M and went to Ghana to open a children’s hospital.
He gave 1M to aftercare school programs in Oakland-San Francisco
He gave 1M to the Somalian Famine relief program
He funded 10,000 grants to 10-different national charities
He set up a 100-suits-100 men for parolees released from prison.
Kaepernick walked the walk after talking the talk. My views changed about he the person, not so much the quarterback.
So now we find out the football side of the story. Does he have anything left? Being out for nearly 3-years, will the rust take away from his game? Is he willing to come be someone’s insurance policy quarterback? Does he have to be in a special offense to have success? Is he willing to play for a veterans minimum salary to get back on the field?
In an NFL that has allowed the likes of Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Greg Fields, Adrian Peterson and others to return to the game, after arrests, wrongdoings and lawsuits, it seems appropriate the quarterback gets an opportunity. What was worse, his social protest stance, or guys beating women, pulling guns, injuring players, doing PEDs and drugs?
Fearful it is 2-years too late, but at least he will workout, then sit and talk to teams.
I didn’t like what he did, but the more I researched what he’s done since the day with the flag, I have become a supporter.
Somebody in the NFL now has the chance to do the same, even if it is too little…too late.